Benefits of Trenchless Constructability & Design Among Different Delivery Methods – Part IV

In this final installment of the “Benefits of Trenchless Constructability & Design Among Different Delivery Methods,” we cover the Design-Bid-Build (DBB) scenario and some specific real-life examples of how the efficiency and budget adherence of your project can be improved. Throughout this blog series, we previously expanded on the delivery methods of Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), Job Order Contracting (JOC), and Design-Build. 

So, without further ado, let’s dig into some strategies you should be taking advantage of when it comes to your DBB project, from the design to the build phase and everything in the process in between.  



Considered the most traditional delivery method, DBB is generally appealing to property owners as it encourages low-cost bids; however, working with a Trenchless Constructability & Design (TCD) consultant helps combat inaccurate bids and sacrificing quality.  

A linear and sequential process, as described below, each phase is completed before moving on to the next. While it provides clarity and accountability for each stage of the project, it can also lead to longer project durations and potential disputes between the owner, designer, and contractor – which is where TCD can help alleviate issues.  

Design – Phase 1: The first phase involves the creation of detailed design documents, including architectural plans, engineering drawings, and specifications. This phase typically involves collaboration between the project owner and the design team (architects, engineers, etc.) to develop a comprehensive design that meets the project requirements. 

Bid – Phase 2: Once the design is completed, the project owner solicits bids from contractors to execute the construction work based on the provided design documents. Contractors submit competitive bids outlining the cost and timeline for completing the project. The bids are usually accompanied by detailed proposals that explain how the contractor plans to execute the project. 

Build – Phase 3: After reviewing the bids, the project owner selects a contractor based on factors such as price, experience, and reputation. The selected contractor then proceeds with the construction phase, following the design documents provided by the owner. Throughout the construction phase, the owner typically oversees the project to ensure that it is progressing according to the agreed-upon schedule, budget, and quality standards. 

As mentioned, the main role of a TCD consultant in a DBB project is to effectively coordinate the bid package development with the right specifications that will optimize trenchless solutions so that it will receive the proper bids. This can be especially important for when out-of-state contractors come into the market as they may be used to dealing with different soil conditions, for example. This professional bid package also helps ensure owner requirements will be met at a realistic price point. Ultimately, it is likely to actually save the owner money as it reduces the chance of change orders and helps with claims avoidance down the line.  


How the Services Fit 

So, during the initial design phase, TCD involvement essentially levels the “playing field” so that bids will be more equal in quality, accuracy, and prevent costly mistakes throughout the DBB project. Another service includes Conceptual Design, which could address the common improper applications of trenchless methodology by taking into account all the elements of the project to specify (i.e. freeways, easements, etc.) and right-of-ways (i.e. ADOT/land owner-specific requirements) to specify the appropriate method and prevent issues with obtaining the permit later on. 

When it comes to Construction Consulting & Management, TCD works to clarify scope of the trenchless subcontractor versus the General Contractor in order to issue a complete bid package to subcontractors. This service aids in preventing gaps in understanding who is responsible within the scope by properly scheduling and sequencing the work. 

Similar to Conceptual Design, Design Consulting can mean something as simple, yet crucial as ensuring the proper size casing so that it meets MAG standards for the size and type of carrier line to be installed. On that note, Carrier Pipe Design as a service can encompass determining the best installation method for choosing spacers or skids, whether annular fill is needed, and if so what type, as well as selecting a carrier line type that has joints compatible with jacking into a casing. 

Back to the bid package development point, TCD’s Plan & Spec Review confirms the constructability, ensuring that it can be completed as designed. When it comes to Bore Pit Support & Design, some real-life examples of where you may see benefits would be in the assurance of allowing adequate space for bore pits and positioning them without safety concerns such as overhead power lines, for instance. 

In this final Part IV of the blog series, we uncovered how the DBB method offers the appeal of low-cost bids, but can lead to potential disputes and longer project timelines. Ultimately, incorporating the expertise of TCD consultants in DBB projects not only enhances the constructability and quality of the project, but also saves the owner money in the long run by avoiding potential issues and claims down the line. 

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